Director Stanley Nelson Visits Madison

Director Stanley Nelson’s work — which includes impactful American Experience documentaries Freedom Summer and Freedom Riders, and the unprecedented upcoming documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — is important, unrivaled and prolific.

In advance of the Feb. 16 nationwide premiere of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party in detail, Nelson is taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Madison this week.

While in Madison, Nelson will attend a free screening  at the Madison Central Library, sit down with Wisconsin Public Television Director’s Cut host Pete Schwaba for an exclusive interview about his film, and appear Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 3:15 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time.

Needless to say, everyone at WPT is excited to welcome Nelson to the studios, and we hope that you can take advantage of the opportunity to meet this prolific director while he’s here or tune in to one of his interviews. Check out the details of Nelson’s screening and appearances below, and mark your calendars for the premieres of Director’s Cut: Stanley Nelson and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution Feb. 16 on WPT.

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The Final Forte: Where Are They Now?


To watch this year’s competition at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 29, visit The Final Forte page, tune in to WPT’s livestream or listen live on WPR. If you miss the live show, you can also catch the competition by watching the broadcast on WPT

Each year, some of the most talented young artists in the state vie for top honors in the final round of the Bolz Young Artist Competition. With all of the buzz around the competition itself, it’s easy to forget that soon afterward, these amazing young musicians go on to do great things! With that in mind, producer John Gerbig set out to catch up with some of the previous contestants and discover what they’re doing today. Continue reading The Final Forte: Where Are They Now?

WPT Interviews: Christopher Kimball From America’s Test Kitchen

When America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country host Christopher Kimball visited Madison recently, Wisconsin Public Television caught up with the celebrated chef and founder and editor of Cook’s Illustrated magazine to ask him about his go-to rules on kitchen gadgets, the small things every home cook should know to be successful, a few surprising hints that make life in the kitchen easier (spoiler alert: vodka makes great pie crusts!), his favorite cocktail, the cheese question he gets asked most and the secret to the perfect cheesecake.

We even surprised him a bit when he learned that an Old Fashioned made with brandy was the Wisconsin drink of choice. Just wait to see his reaction to that!

Watch Cook’s Country From America’s Test Kitchen Saturdays on Wisconsin Public Television.

Behind the Scenes of Quilt Expo: Award-Winning Artist Cindy Frese

“Everybody loves everybody at Quilt Expo. Strangers are like best friends. I usually go with a few other ladies from the quilt guild, and there are vendors who are like family to us.” — Cindy Frese, Kenosha, WI

When Cindy Frese, one of the first-prize winners from last year’s Quilt Expo, says she’s “quilted in some odd places,” it’s an understatement.

“I did 20 years in the Navy and met my husband there. He worked with the State Department when I retired, and I followed him around to different embassies,” Frese says. “We lived in Nigeria for a couple of years, and were there for their first democratic election. We were in Egypt on September 11. We lived in Mexico and Mali. The first day after I retired, we went into Kuwait. That was in 1991, and the oil fires were still burning. So I’m taking two toddlers in, the first family to go back in after the war.”

Frese started quilting after the birth of her first daughter, and despite distance or difficulty, Frese took her hobby wherever she went.

“Kuwait was great for quilting because you could go to the open markets – there were no stores open at the time,” Frese says. “The ambassador’s wife and I were the only ones there, as far as government families went, but we met some oil company wives. We had nothing to do, so I taught them to quilt.”

Throughout her travels, Frese has found a way to work sewing and quilting into her life.

“My husband knows I pack more fabric than clothing. I can always sew something if I need to,” Frese says. “One time I did turn quilting fabric into evening gowns. Barbara Bush came to visit in Kuwait, and suddenly everyone needed something to wear.”

As she became familiar with different cultures, Frese began to appreciate the unique aspects of each region’s fabrics.

Are you ready for Quilt Expo this morning? Here’s a very fast 15-second sneak peek at the quilt contest exhibit. We hope you’ll get to spend a bit more time with these beautiful quilts today through Saturday!

Posted by Quilt Expo on Thursday, September 10, 2015


Continue reading Behind the Scenes of Quilt Expo: Award-Winning Artist Cindy Frese

Giving Curiosity a Kick-Start

Image of Josh standing outside the White House
Wisconsin’s National Geographic Bee representative Josh Frank outside the White House

Meet Joshua Frank from Fall River.

I asked Josh if he could sum up why Wisconsin Public Television is important. He said: “Public television has been one of the main kick-starters of my whole curiosity.”

Josh and his mom Heather called me recently to chat about a trip they took to Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. Josh, who just finished seventh grade, won the 2015 Wisconsin National Geographic State Bee and became the Wisconsin representative at the National Geographic Bee in Washington. He was one of 54 competitors, and it was his first trip on an airplane. Both he and his mom said it was a great experience — except for the fact that they didn’t get enough time to see all of the Smithsonian.

Heather had told me in an earlier conversation that they didn’t have cable, and that PBS Kids was the only TV she allowed Josh and his brother to watch when they were growing up. Josh confirmed that today. He told me that, when he was younger, “I wanted to be a contestant on Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman so bad!”

Josh said: “At the GeoBee I met kids that are actually like me.  Being from a small town – I feel… a bit unique.” His mom shared that in meeting the other kids and their families, they realized that most of these kids, like Josh, don’t cram or study specifically for this competition — they are just interested in learning, and in the world, and tend to pick up these facts. Josh spends loads of time on Wikipedia, watches Nature and NOVA and is also into weather, geology and physics.

We are looking forward to watching where Josh’s curiosity leads him next! What has WPT inspired you to learn more about?